Answered By: Library Staff
Last Updated: Jul 20, 2017     Views: 707


The Library Catalog does not have an ability to provide a complete listing of our materials in foreign languages. To limit a search by language, use the Library Catalog and perform some sort of search (author, title, keyword, subject, etc.) and then click on the "Modify Search" icon towards at the top of the page. modify search icon from the catalog

select language This takes you to an "Advanced Keyword Search" screen.  Scroll down the page and select the language, and then click on "Submit".

Problems with our system:

  • You are limited to only the eight languages offered (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Russian).
  • This limiting by language will retrieve both materials in the language you specify and materials translated from that language into English, so many of the items you get are still in English.
  • Requiring you to do an initial search puts severe limitations on the number of items you are dealing with; it is hard to know what is a good initial search term.

Some Alternatives:

1. Preprogrammed searches. The following searches of the library catalog will produce large sets of materials in these foreign languages:  

Note that they will also retrieve materials in English that have been translated from those languages and that these are not complete searches of materials in the catalog in these languages.

2. Using Hedges. The following hedges of search for the terms you see and then limit them to the language.

Language Keyword  Search
French french** or franc**
German german** or deutsch**
Italian ital** or rome or roma
Spanish span** or espan** or mexi** or latin** or  hispan**
Japanese japan** or nippon** or nihon**
Chinese china or chinese or chinas or taiwan** or beijing
Russian russ** or soviet** or siberia**

Clicking on the links above produces a search of the catalog that is limited to the language and then sorted by title.  It may include other materials (CDs. DVDs, journals, etc.) in addition to books.

The more terms that you "OR" together, the larger a retrieval you get. Warning: some of these searches take a long time for complete.  (Remember to limit to language after the keyword search is done if you are doing these searches manually).

Remember that this is only a way to get a partial listing of our books in these foreign languages.

3. Browsing by LC Classification. You can browse the call number areas for the following national literatures and language studies in the hopes that there will be some books in the appropriate foreign languages:


LC Class Numbers

Language Study



PC 2073

PQ 139, PQ 1109



PT 105


PC 1111

PQ 4004


PC 4073

PQ 6004



PQ 7106


PL 523

PL 726


PL 1071

PL 2253


PG 2073

PG 2117


PL 918

PL 894

Viet Nam

PL 4373

PL 4378


The above call numbers are all approximate. This is still not a complete method of finding all the foreign language books. For example, copies of Tom Sawyer translated into Russian will still be shelved in the American Literature section.

Additional Links:

Preceptoral de Bibliotecas

*Apologies to Belgium, Quebec, Switzerland, Austria, Taiwan, most of Latin America, and a few other places I can't think of at the moment.... 

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